Thursday, November 29, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

This week has been miserably hot. We have been hitting 104 daily here. Not cool. All the cockroaches are coming out on the streets now lol, and sometimes we get a surprise squish while we are walking. Also the mosquitos are getting fierce again. Ah well.... it was good cooler weather while it lasted. Sweet pictures from the beach, It would feel nice to go for a swim right now lol. Shirt and tie is not a good outfit for summer here. Everyone gives us weird looks on the street, but it's a great conversation starter lol.

I think one thing we need to do for investigators is to help them understand about authority and one true church is just teach simply, and boldly testify. On saturday night we taught a new family, Simone and Elias, and Simone loves to talk. She talked for a good while before we could get back to the lesson, and it was Elder Sousa's 'turn' to teach about christ and the church and the apostasy. He didn't want to drag it out, so he just said everything so boldy, immediately declaring that our church was the only true one on the face of the earth, and saying everything very simply and direct. I had never seen him teach so boldly before. It was really awesome. Simone was so intrigued that she asked us when she could come to church. We told her "tomorrow" lol. She came yesterday too, that's the awesome thing. And she quickly became friends with a couple of other women in the ward and absolutely loved church. She even pulled out a notebook in the middle of Gospel principles and began taking notes on the teacher's lesson. It was awesome. Her husband didn't come because he works on sunday, but it won't be hard to get him to not work because he is the boss of his own mechanic shop. It's just a matter of convincing him to pray about the Sabbath day to recieve a testimony of it. but they are an awesome family. One probleminha...(tiny problem) they aren't married. It always gets the best of them. But, she said they had already entered into the process before we got there. This is because she has always loved God and wanted to live right before him. So it's just a matter of waiting I hope. So that was our miracle of the week. We were pretty happy. In the middle of sacrament meeting she leans over to me and whispers "do you guys believe in continuing revelation?" I said yes. She said "wow that's so cool!!" lol.

I think we are doing alright with finding. We at least are getting a few new people to consistently teach every week, and lots of families too. We are teaching about 4 families right now. It's just our teaching that needs to get better I think. We need to teach more focused on their needs, rather than just vomit information to them. Preach My Gospel is full of this so no worries there, we just need to study and apply it. The language is coming along very well. I am fluent.
Depending on who you ask I even trick people into thinking i'm from brazil, or at least argentina. But my appearance and my name always give me away. Everyone asks me if I'm german. Depending on the day I switch between saying i'm american or danish ;) lol. Dual citizenship, it's great lol. Anyways, I hope you guys have a good week. We are gonna be here, baking in the sun. Say hi to everyone for me! :) I love you.
Elder Baldwin

Monday, September 10, 2012

Alright where to begin. Hunp day I celebrated by cutting a tie, and we bought a pizza and sang happy birthday,lol. I also made a devils food cake. It was cool. I bought a 1 candle ad put it in the pizza. But we didn't realize it was a trick candle! it wouldn't blow out lol. Finally when it blew out, 1 minute later it lit again! it was funny lol. I finally stuck it under the sink and ran it. That killed it.

We were able to teach Joana again but since the 2nd time no. We are supposed to visit her tonight. I hope she has been reading the Book of Mormon. We will try tonight as well talk with her husband, see what happens. They are a really cool family so I'm praying lots for them.

   In my first year dad, I was able to read the Book of Mormon 4 times. I admit though, Ii read parts of d&c, jesus the christ, and the bible as well lol. But I always tried to stop myself and read the book of mormon. Now I started Jesus the Christ and will try and read it through to kill my curiosity.

Yeah you are right it's true satan always does that. And he shows people what they will "lose" if they are baptized. Countless investigators have not been baptized because they would have to give up soccer on sundays, beer, and women. It's annoying when people choose these things over salvation. I just wanna shake them and say "why don't you realize!!" but that's how it is I guess. I'm sure God says that about me sometimes as well lol.

Not much to report this week. Tomorrow we have a zone meeting again. President brought them back finally. Now we will have them every month. We taught lots of lessons (not lots but more than the past few weeks, 12) but not many new investigators and no one really interested. We try and find a family every day but it's annoying when they give a fake address or a time when they know they won't be home. But we continue pressing forward with faith that God is preparing someone. We just have to find them. Alright I love you dad and mom, and hope you have a good week. Até mais caras, Tchau!

Elder Baldwin

Monday, September 3, 2012

I haven't passed my one year mark yet so I haven't done anything yet. I don't know what I'll do. I have heard about the cutting a tie in half thing. I have also heard of burning a white shirt. I don't know what I'll do or if I'll do anything special. I just have no idea. It's still surreal to me that I'm gonna hit the peak here soon. From here on out it's all downhill and will go by way faster. It's just weird.

Anyways, we had a really nice week finding lots of people and committing all of them to baptism.... but no one came to church. Then a woman came to church miraculously out of nowhere with her son! We were so excited we went and got her address and... she lives in another elder's area. We just couldn't catch a break this week. Not to mention this week I was bit by a freakin dog. I was just walking along the street minding my own business when this dog charges out of the house and bites me in the leg! Man I was pissed. I tried to kick it but it just barked and ran away. Piece of crap dog... It didn't bite me hard, like it didn't break the skin or leave a mark. But still.

Yesterday we taught a woman named Joana. From the moment we started talking with her she started talking about baptism and how she knows it's a commandment and she needs to be baptized in a church. We got excited. We told her that we were missionaries from the restored church of God, and we were sent there to help her be baptized. That's when she got excited. We taught her the restoration and she understood everything. We told her that today there is a prophet who lives and she said "wait a minute... like a prophet prophet? Like Moses or Adam or one of those guys? Like only one in the world at a time prophet?" We said yes and taught her about the restorationa and the Book of Mormon, and committed her to baptism on the 16th. She is also married (legally!!), and has 4 children. We hope we will be able to teach everyone the next time we go there.

Yeah we generally use the bible until we teach what the Book of Mormon is. We use the bible mainly just to prove that there exists one true church, cuz everyone thinks that all of them are true. It's an annoying belief. But after that I use the Book of Mormon alot to help them.

Anyways I hope you guys have a good week again. Alright I love you guys and wish mom a happy birthday for me!! I thought about her on Saturday. Aright love you!

Elder Baldwin

Monday, August 27, 2012

This week was probably one of the worst on my mission, lol. We walked a lot and did not get anything done. We lost both of our pronciple investigators, young men who were investigating the church but decided to stop. Adriano and his wife are very hard to get ahold of and we haven't found a chance to pass there yet, cuz they are never home. No one that we talked to or did contacts with wanted to hear about our message. It was a trying week. But enough of the complaining lol.

We found a family that seems very interesting. They were a reference from an investigator that we taught. They both are from a different church and were used to living life with lots of money. Recently, the husband has gotten ill and cannot work, and the mom needs to take care of him and so she cannot work, so they moved here to our area to a much smaller house and cut alot of the things they used to have. A nice humbled family :). They know a lot about the bible and have a huge love for God and Jesus Christ. We taught them the restoration and they understood very well everything about dispensations and the need for Joseph Smith to be called a prophet again. While we were teaching the mom even said wow, it makes sense. They promised to read the book of mormon. We haven't been able to teach them again, and we are a little afraid because they were visited by the pastors from their church, so we will see how that went on wednesday. But when we saw them briefly a different day they said they were reading the BofM and thought it interesting, and we would talk more on wednesday. I really hope the spirit was able to work with them.

They were our principle focus this week. A little sad because we taught so little this week, I feel like we did nothing. haha, Elder Sousa is fine I think. He likes the area he just doesn't like the fact that it's so small. But I don't think it's having a negative impact on his work here. We just need to regroup and rethink how we will work with more effectivness and more Spirit. We have already made plans to change this week around.

Do you want an actual map map dad? Or like a digital one? Yeah I can send home a map. It shouldn't be too hard. Alright some addresses. We work mainly on these streets

Rua Maria José
Travessa Maria josé
Rua Carlos Xavier
Travessa Carlos Xavier
Rua Teles
Rua Ana Teles
Rua Pinto Teles
Rua Dona Clara
Estrada Intendente Magalhães
Rua Domingos Lopes
Rua Capitão Menezes

And there are a few others lol. These are all in the bairros (neighborhoods) of Campinho, Madureira, Oswaldo Cruz, and Praça Seca.

I'm glad you guys got to try some Brazilian food. It was probably really really well made, better than normally here (probably). But still, cool. Did you guys eat at the bbq where they cut of pieces of meat on those long skewers? That's actually pretty common here. It's sweet.

Alright well, have fun you two all alone now. Let me know how it is without any kids in the house lol. I bet it'll be weird. You guys'll have more time to study the scriptures! lol. Also there is a big focus in the church about Family History right now. Maybe you guys could go to the Family History Center on a date night or something and do it together? I don't know. Idea. Alright I love you :) Have a good week.

Elder Baldwin

Monday, August 20, 2012

Today was transfers so I spent half my time looking at all the changes made in the Quadra of the mission. Interesting. I'm still here in Madureira with Elder Sousa, so nothing too new or crazy to report. I don't think Elder Sousa is very happy. He has almost never stayed more than 2 transfers in an area, and this will be his third here so he is kind of tired of the area. It's different, because the area limits are tiny. We can walk across the area in about a half hour. Way diferent than Cabo Frio lol. So we have to focus more in smaller neighborhoods and areas. I like it but he is tired already. Anyway, this transfer passed by so fast. This week was a really tough week. We were focusing the whole week on trying to baptize these two young men who had come to church last sunday, but it was very difficult to find them at home. As a result we didn't get to focus on finding new investigators or people to teach very much. Because we didn't find news, no one came to church yesterday, and because the two young men were so hard to find at home they didn't want to get baptized yesterday. It was a difficult week and let's just say I'm glad it's p-day lol.

Last night though we had a really good lesson with this guy we are teaching. We have never been able to have a sit down lesson with him, just in the front of his house, but he is married (legally thankfully) and has interest in the church. His name is Adriano. He told us he read about the plan of salvation, and started reading the book of mormon. He wanted to know how we have the book of mormon so we gave him a basic version of the restoration. He got real interested after that. He said we had to mark a time that we could sit down with him and explain more, because he really wanted to know. That made me feel so good inside. It's so hard to find people who are genuinely interested, and actually understand the messages. We want to invite them to come to church this sunday and to be baptized once they feel that confirming feeling from the Holy Ghost. It's a complete family so we are really excited!

Haha, no mom we still aren't getting winter here. At least not the winter you are thinking of. Winter here means a bit chilly when the sun goes down, and everyone pulls out jackets and complains about how cold it is. I still sweat even when the sun goes down. This place is miserably hot and humid.

I'm getting more used to being the Senior now I think, we just have to really start finding people who want to get baptized. That's our only weak point is finding new right now, and people who will listen to us. Everyone here thinks that every church leads to God and it doesn't matter where you are cuz everyone has the Bible. It's really annoying.

Anyways Dad, as well next week tell em about some of your investigators that were really difficult to teach, what their doubts and problems were, and how the Spirit helped you help them. I'm hoping it will help me reading about some of your experiences as well. Alright I love you dad and mom, and I hope you guys have a nice week sending off your last child to college :)

Elder Baldwin

Monday, August 13, 2012

This week we were able to talk with a couple families, but not as many as I would have hoped. Some of them fell on us :(. But we taught some good ones, including one family who is married! He read the little pamphlet on the plan of salvation and now says he can't wait to read the book of mormon. It was really cool, and we marked to go back Tuesday night to talk about the Plan and the Restoration. We are going to invite them to church and possibly baptism as well, so your prayers are appreciated :). For Adriano and Luanda.

Alright, what else. We had lunch with a family whose husband was inactive. We invited them to church and promised them blesings and he came on Saturday! It was incredible, we are going to visit them again this week and firm him up, and help them set goals to be sealed in the temple, something that they have not been able to do.

This week we found an elect. I saw this guy on the street and made a contact with him. From the first moment I started talking he just had this really big smile on his face. We went to his house and taught him about the Plan of Salvation. He said it made sense, and he had drawn many of those conclusions himself. He is 17. He got really excited and the spirit was really strong, so we invited him to be baptized on the 19th and he accepted! So this week we are going to teach him the rest and help him prepare to be baptized. It was amazing too because he came to church alone without us having to go get him yesterday, and he brought his girlfriend too. It was really cool, because it's not too often you see people willing to walk all the way to church on a sunday morning. His name is Iago and he still gets this huge smile on his face whenever we see him.

That's about it for this week. Not much else. I had to pay 120 bucks to pull bekka's package out of correios, but I already said that last week. So i went and got that today. It was awesome, had alot of things I needed but I can thank her in my letter to her.

Alright Dad, it looks like you are running low on stuff to write me about ;) so I have a couple things I would like you to write me about. I don't know too much about how your mission was. I just know it was in Germany and way back when the dinasaurs existed and you still taught memorized lessons ;) lol just kidding. But write me about your companions and who they were, if you trained what it was like, what it was like being senior for the first time, your first baptisms, how you found people, what the biggest problems were there in germany for them to overcome, stuff like that. I would like to know :).

Alright I love you both and hope you guys have another awesome week. If it makes you feel any better mom, this week has been almost as hot as your guys's, and it's supposed to be winter here!! :)

Elder Baldwin

Monday, August 6, 2012

This last week we baptized his little brother as well, and the first one was confirmed. Yeah they are interested in the Gospel, but it's more something cool for them right now. I think though that with time they will grow to like it more. At least they have their sister to help them out. Haha yeah in Cabo Frio there was a kopenhagen street as well, but in portuguese it is spelled Copenhague. Pretty funky. And Danish is Dinamarquês. yeah, everyone asks me to say something in Danish so I usually just say something little and dumb like I like bread or something. I've forgotten most of my danish by now so... lol. It's tough.

I'm feeling pretty baked here. It's been in the 30's this week. There is just no break from this awful heat here. And in the 20's native rio people start getting cold. So weird.

Today we had interviews with President Lima. That's why I am writing so late. In interviews President Lima told me how he wants me to work the area, and specifically focus on families. He said that working with the members is the key. If you want the ward to grow and have baptisms, you need to have members in your lessons. Question... when was the last time you guys participated in a lesson with the missionaries? Something to think about... lol. It was hard because we had interviews, and immediately after we ran to our house to clean it because they did house checks, and then we had to come here to do email. So literally my entire P-Day went down the toilet. I didn't even get a chance to go pick up Rebekka's package that I am supposed to. She wrote something wrong or something and now i have to pay 120 bucks to pull it out. That's about 60 american dollars. Do not claim expensive stuff! Any package over 60 bucks and I'll have to pay through the nose to pull it out.

District Meetings are fine, the Zone Leaders are in our district as well so that's exciting. We get council and burned from two sets of leaders at once lol. jk we dn't get burned too often. I'm not that bad of a missionary. But they are usually about an hour and a half and consist of learning and applying something from Preach My Gospel and doing practices like baptismal invite practices or something. Ours is tomorrow.

Tell Tyler and Linda thanks so much for the package!! I got it today and it's awesome. And let them know that I have already been to the ward where their friend Paula lives down here. It's a cool ward.

I have mentioned PRP to my companion but haven't tried teaching him yet. Oh, and do you remember Elder Mimary? he was my third companion who I taught PRP to. He is now a very powerful Zone Leader Senior in a place called Campo Grande. They had the second most baptisms in the mission there with my zone being #1 ;) but he told me he still does PRP frequently the other day when I saw him. That made me feel good.

Alright I'm short on time. I think this computer counts seconds faster than normal.... but I love you guys and hope the best for you :)

Elder Baldwin

P.S.S. we have lots of families to teach this week. Pray for us to find success!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thanks for the prayers this week... they worked! We baptized a little kid named Marlon. He is the little brother of a recent convert. It was tough because we had to teach him and explain to his parents about the baptism and all that. But he has been to church 5 times, and came to me a few weeks ago saying he wants to be baptized. This week we realized that for him. It was also very special because it was my companions first baptism! I'll see if I can send a picture. I'm also attaching a couple other fun pictures. One is the nutella can I left in the microwave too long. Remember that? lol. Also a street sign I found for an apartment complex on the street... I think you'll like it mom lol.
Next week we are planning on baptizing Marlon's little brother, Maycon. He was supposed to be baptized yesterday with Marlon but he visited his sister a city away and wasn't there Sunday. It was a dissapointment but he still wants to be baptized. It will be great for him. We also have found a few more investigators that we are working with. We are going to try and help them prepare for a baptism on the 12th. We are finally having sucess :) so again, thankyou for your prayers.

   Mom, send my birthday wishes for Draegen and Andrew. Grandma told me they are coming up here soon.

Thank you again for everything :) And say congrats to Jameson and Zack for me, and Elder Stucki when you see him :) I love you guys and hope you have a great week!